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Dormouse Dreams by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Renata Liwska

In Dormouse Dreams, Karma Wilson's superbly rhyming story is perfectly paired with Renata Liwska's richly detailed, gently magical illustrations. The story of Dormouse Dreams begins before the text when, on the dedication page, we see a dormouse in pink pearls and a pink pillbox hat getting help closing a suitcase. The narrative begins with a dormouse curled up in his "dry leaf bed," dreaming about the return of spring and his friend, then alternates between the winter world outside, the dormouse sleeping inside and the imagined arrival of a new season and an old friend. Liwska's illustrations follow this pattern, with the added treat that readers get to see the dormouse's friend as she makes her way to her friend's house.

From his cozy corner, the dormouse dreams of seeing his friend again, of the day when they can "play hide-and-seek in the tall green grass by the whispering creek." He doesn't, "hear the creaking as the ice breaks free. He doesn't hear the chirping of the birds in the trees." Outside, so much is going on. A fox is part of a cross-country-skiing biathlon, shooting an arrow then racing to cross the finish line. The dormouse in pearls clings to a biplane as friends help her get closer to her destination.

Their happy reunion is followed by a walk through the newly thawed world where they see the animals who helped the dormouse in pearls reach her destination. The final words and image of Dormouse Dreams are as sweet and cozy as the first - now both mice are curled in the dry leaf bed, their tails making a heart. Wilson's words are a joy to read out loud and Liwska's illustrations are a treat to pore over again and again.

Source: Review Copy


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